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Thread: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

  1. #11
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    Yes, I have this lens on a search. Thank you Mark.

    Also want to say how much I enjoyed your pixie portfolio in Lenswork a few years ago.
    I was teaching photography at a technical college and shared your work on the big screen with my students.
    They all loved it as much as I do.

    Kind regard,
    Darr
    Thank you for the kind words, Darr!

    Not to drift the thread too much, but I wonder how the price of an original 9-inch P&S VQ would compare to the price of the Cooke PS945. Did it drive the price up or down? At an equal price, I'd rather have the original, myself. Of course, we can't talk numbers here, but as a general trend. Also of course, there aren't enough originals to set a trend...

    Having been fortunate enough to use a variety of old soft focus lenses, I think the best value and one of the very best performers is the venerable Verito. There were so many made, they don't command the prices they deserve. But there's a very good reason they were so popular...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  2. #12
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Thank you for the kind words, Darr!

    Not to drift the thread too much, but I wonder how the price of an original 9-inch P&S VQ would compare to the price of the Cooke PS945. Did it drive the price up or down? At an equal price, I'd rather have the original, myself. Of course, we can't talk numbers here, but as a general trend. Also of course, there aren't enough originals to set a trend...

    Having been fortunate enough to use a variety of old soft focus lenses, I think the best value and one of the very best performers is the venerable Verito. There were so many made, they don't command the prices they deserve. But there's a very good reason they were so popular...
    I can say that when I bought the PS945 from Badger Graphic ~2005 it was $3500.
    I sold it for the price I paid for it. There is one currently on auction for $5870 used.
    No way, no how would I pay that. It is a nice lens, but IMO not worth more than $3500.
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

  3. #13

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    I can say that when I bought the PS945 from Badger Graphic ~2005 it was $3500.
    I sold it for the price I paid for it. There is one currently on auction for $5870 used.
    No way, no how would I pay that. It is a nice lens, but IMO not worth more than $3500.
    So, you sold yours to soon!

  4. #14
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    So, you sold yours to soon!
    Bob,

    Yes and no. I needed the cash for gear that was used in my paying jobs.
    If the MFD (medium format digital) system could have taken Copal 3, I probably would have sold off something else instead.
    It is all part of the photography journey.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

  5. #15

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation


  6. #16
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Schildt View Post

    Thank you so very much Emil!
    So many lovely images to experience and the ability to see the lens they were made with is remarkable.

    Thank you! Thank you!!
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

  7. #17

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    It is a gamble buying expensive optics, like expensive sports cars. You can't learn to use either in an "reasonable amount of time" that a seller would let you use it for. In a year, yes. In one or two sessions, no. Small time sellers can't do that, and there are few big time sellers anymore.

    I buy a lot of lenses that some would call expensive. My main thing is when it arrives ensuring all the parts are still there. These are antiques, I just want it complete, I can decide over time if I don't like it, then I can sell it.

    I've spent a happy decade learning about soft focus, petzvals, strange early lenses. I keep some, I sell some. If you can only afford one or two, I guess it is a bigger risk. I can't afford any really, but I did it by....buying some and selling some.

  8. #18

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    This thread reminds me of that old line about yachts--- "If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can't afford it."

    I admit that been fortunate when it comes to buying old lenses---the most expensive cost $600, the least expensive $10 (these cover 8x10, btw)
    Lens envy is a real issue. Early on I was convinced I needed a Cook triple convertible just like Ansel Adams used if I wanted to take pictures like Ansel Adams.
    Raising my family by holding down four part time jobs, I just couldn't afford that but I could afford a nice 10" Wide Field Ektar, a lens which Ansel Adams also used, and it turned out to be a wonderful lens for me.
    No, nothing I've done with any lens even remotely resembles Adams, LOL, but I've exceeded my own expectations more often than not.

    What is more important to me is the condition of the lens and how reliable the shutter---if it has a shutter---is.
    Qualities such as bokeh and swirlies exist in cheap old lenses and finding them is part of the fun, OR you can spend your loot on a known optical performer.
    Life involves more than enough stresses to wear one down. I think that having a little fun with an old camera shouldn't add to those stresses.

    While in the Army, I was on TAD one weekend with a Chief Sneathen, the DOD's premiere authority at the time on the fabled deuce and a half. He flew in to So Cal and I drove down in my hammered old 1977 240 D. While driving the Chief to LAX to catch his flight home the Mercedes cr@pped out on the 405.
    Chief Sneathen got us on the road again with baling wire(actual baling wire as I was shoeing horses part time then and I had some in the trunk) and a pair of pliers. The repair got me back across the Grapevine to Fresno and likely still work if I hadn't replaced the part a few months later.
    There's often more than one way to accomplish a goal, especially when it comes to lenses and clapped out 240Ds
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #19

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    No stress for me. But then, my lenses aren't that expensive.

    I would never purchase anything, unless seller posted photos.

    I always pay through PalPal, which has buyer protection.

    I always clarify w/questions any aspect that might be vague. If EBay, always using their messaging system.

    I stick to sites that I trust. (I.e. here, EBay, igorcamera.com, BH, etc.)

  10. #20

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    I found a guy a few years ago that said he had some old lenses, from a studio his dad ran. This guy was in his 60s. I asked what they were and got answers like "some were black, some were brass...I don't know". I asked him for pictures. He sent blurry ones. I identified all of them (Tessars and such) except one brass one that looked like a magic lantern lens, but I couldn't see the knob or slots. We agreed on a price for all. When I met him at a truck stop (literally), he handed me the box of lenses, took the cash and - skedaddled. When I started looking at the brass one better - it was a CC Harrison. Pretty much bought those sight unseen. And the "delivery" felt like a drug deal in a parking lot.

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